Commenting on Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale’s support for Neil Bibby’s members bill, Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said:
“We welcome Mr Bibby’s interest in the industry but this bill would actually do the opposite of what he is setting-out to achieve.
“The pub market in Scotland is completely different to other parts of the UK, with only 17% of pubs under a tied arrangement here, compared to 40% in the UK as a whole. It simply doesn’t work to compare like-for-like in this case. Furthermore, we have already put in place a system of self-regulation in Scotland which safeguards tenants.
“Second, tied-pubs offer greater choice of beers than pubs free-of-tie; while tied-pubs average ten draught lines, free-of-tie pubs only offer eight and tied-pubs offer double the amount of cask ale.
“Finally, the tied-pub models offers unrivaled entrepreneurship opportunities, jobs and investment. In the last two years alone £20 million has been spent by pub companies and brewers investing in pubs in Scotland.
“If successful, this bill will hurt small business owners, offer fewer choices for consumers and ultimately cost jobs.
“We would therefore urge Scottish Labour to rethink their support for these ill-conceived plans and instead pressure the government into meaningful action to support Scotland’s pubs.”